Skiing in blast area

Parks Canada is investigating a recent incursion into a prohibited area that's regularly blasted to bring down avalanches along the highway through Rogers Pass.

Staff discovered fresh ski and snowboard tracks in Macdonald West, part of a closed area in Glacier National Park on Wednesday.

No one was found at the site and the breach is still under investigation by park wardens.

On Thursday, park wardens were called to the Quartz Creek area inside the Glacier National Park boundary because a group of snowmobilers had become stuck.

It was the second time last week that someone was illegally snowmobiling: an earlier incursion was reported in the Saint Cyr area of Mount Revelstoke National Park.

Both are being investigated because snowmobiling is illegal in the mountain national parks and, along with skiing in a closed area, can result in a maximum fine of $25,000.

Certain areas are closed for skiers throughout the winter because the military regularly uses explosives as part of a mobile artillery avalanche control program.

Canadian soldiers use a 105-mm howitzer to bring down snow along the Trans-Canada Highway in the steep narrow valley east of Rogers Pass, about 340 kilometres west of Calgary.

There are 134 avalanche paths along a 40-kilometre section of the highway.

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